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Did You Know...

... that bUSA Defiance was the best unofficial amateur team at the FAI World Cup 2017?

First FAI medals for SDC Rhythm XP
posted Aug 23rd, 2017 - The NSL News reported on 14 August 2017 that four nations each had placed two teams in the Top 10 on 4-way Open Class leaderboard of the FAI World Cup 2017, Belgium, with winner NMP PCH HayaBusa (1) and ISR FireFlash (8), France with RealFly-Sion (2) and Espoir Saumur Weembi (7), USA with SDC Rhythm XP (3) and bUSA Defiance (5) and Russia with Black Cat (4) and Barguzin (8).

The US combination with SDC Rhythm XP (3) and bUSA Defiance (5) would be the winner of rankings by national delegations in the 4-way Open category.

It was the first FAI outdoor competition for both teams, and it turned out to be very successful. SDC Rhythm XP left with FAI bronze medals in the bags on the return flight, and with additional high-profile meet experiences before the showdown with Arizona Airspeed at the USPA Nationals 2017.

Defiance finished in the top spot of the unofficial amateur rankings and finally beat the 20-average benchmark that the US team has been targeting since the outdoor reunion at the USPA Nationals 2016. The meet averages after Round 4 or 5 seem to be representative of a complete 10-round competition.

FAI World Cup 2017
1234(5)TotalAvg
Rank4-way Open - Top 10L,O,F,K,11C,3,713,2,G1,17,20(5,E,21)TotalAvg
1NMP PCH HayaBusaBE 35 26 21 20(28)10225.5
2RealFly-SionFR 35 26 20 20(23)10125.3
3SDC Rhythm XPUS 33 24 20 16(-)9323.3
4Black CatRU 26 24 17 18(24)8521.3
5bUSA DefianceUS 26 22 16 17(19)8120.3
6AirbusDE 27 21 17 15(19)8020.0
7Espoir Saumur WeembiFR 25 19 16 18(16)7819.5
8Papea MasculinoES26191214(18)7117.8
8ISR FireFlashBE24181415(19)7117.8
8BarguzinRU24151715(19)7117.8
SDC Rhythm XP at the FAI World Cup 2017
It was still not the complete original Mass Defiance lineup that posted the 20.3 average in Saarlouis. It was in fact the second time that two original members beat the 20-average with different lineups.

Ben Liston and Brian Stephens had Steve Johnson and James "Bu" Klinge in their DNR lineup and finished with a 20.7 average at the USPA Nationals 2012, with Pat Walker on camera. The same DNR lineup also posted a 19.6 average two years later at the national championships, this time with Charles Lane on camera.

The complete original Mass Defiance lineup, only without videographer Steve "Scuba" Feldman, had a reunion at the USPA Nationals 2016 and missed the 20+ benchmark with a 19.2 average. However, it was the beginning of plans to compete at the FAI World Cup 2017.

It was still a different lineup that eventually competed in Germany and extended the status of the best amateur team from the USA to the worldwide 4-way competition community. This time, Mass Defiance had three original members (Ben Liston, Brian Stephenes, Jim Rees) in the lineup, and DNR 2012 team mate James Klinge re-joined together with Pat Walker on camera.

FAI World Cup 2017
1234(5)TotalAvg
Rank4-way AAA ClassL,O,F,K,11C,3,713,2,G1,17,20(5,E,21)TotalAvg
1NMP PCH HayaBusaBE 35 26 21 20(28)10225.5
2RealFly-SionFR 35 26 20 20(23)10125.3
3SDC Rhythm XPUS 33 24 20 16(-)9323.3
4Black CatRU 26 24 17 18(24)8521.3
5French Weembi GirlsFR29171916(23)8120.3
5bUSA DefianceUS 26 22 16 17(19)8120.3
7AirbusDE 27 21 17 15(19)8020.0
8Espoir Saumur WeembiFR 25 19 16 18(16)7819.5
9Parachute Montreal FuzionCA24201615(16)7518.8
9Bubble TroubleRU23201614(18)7518.8
bUSA Defiance at the FAI World Cup 2017
The 20.3 average is the team's new outdoor record, and it was also the first 20+ average for original Mass Defiance member Jim Rees. Only John Silva does not have a 20+ average in the records yet, even though the original lineup was so close at the USPA Nationals 2016 with a 19.2 average.

The USPA Nationals 2017 might be the next opportunity for the original lineup to follow up on the bUSA Defiance accomplishment in Saarlouis.

The combined leaderboard of 4-way Open and 4-way Women at the world cup is changing the rankings of the nations. French Weembi Girls, Bubble Trouble and Parachute Montreal Fuzion are pushing Papea Masculino from Spain, ISR FireFlash and Barguzin out of the Top 10. France has now three teams in the rankings, while Bubble Trouble only replaces another Russian team.

bUSA Defiance managed to keep up with the French Weembi Girls and to finish tied in 5th place on the combined leaderboard. However, the French combination (2nd - 5th) would still be a little bit ahead of the US combination (3rd - 5th)...

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